Knitting = food and gossip

oooh yeah - I'm getting ready to get down to business

I am very tired, almost too tired to write anything at all but I wanted to say that I just had a lovely day yesterday chatting to Ms Pea and Ms Gusset (Ms Bee and Ms Momo were sadly missed). We got together for a knitting afternoon but instead ended up eating heaps of food and sharing secrets and plans. Those girls sure know how to over cater. When I said “bring a plate” they brought several each, but I am not complaining – I am very happy that Kylie left me with the most incredible ginger bread cake ever and a bizarre yet delicious onion pie while I swapped some fruit salad with Pea who left me with some extremely tasty tomato and basil soup for my lunch today. I always go away from such meet ups inspired to make books and clothes and take photos and so on.

In other news, we bought a car on Saturday. After all that talk about Hyundai’s and spending time with the slowest car sales man ever for hours on end about deals and extras – we dove right in and bought a luxurious Toyota corolla… just like our old one only 22 years newer. Big-P and I are terrible negotiators – but even so we didn’t do too badly saving quite a hefty amount off the original price and getting a cd player thrown in for almost free. Hopefully we can pick it up sometime this week.

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38 Responses

  1. My personal favorite was the comment about how some words are different colours, and that they’re also links. Apparently lots of people use this technique. Who would have ever guessed?

  2. Good choice of car. Corollas seem to just keep going.
    Regarding the design discussion, I hope you are now able to “correctly” write a recipe 🙂

    Usability analysis of personal sites; what a fabulous idea…

  3. Yes! I have to admit we had a bit of a chuckle over the analysis of my recipe writing! Actually the whole thing was a bit of a laugh. I particularly liked the comment: “I think the title of the first one, ‘Cake-alicious’ was what got to me. I love cake! The other’s just looked boring, especially the titles. “

  4. says:

    Claire, how did you learn to knit? I remember doing it when I was younger, but I think I only did one kind of stitch incessantly…I am desperate to learn, but haven’t seen any courses in our Adult Ed flyers. Help!

  5. Sabrina — my mum taught me when I was quite little… I only know how to do the basics but Kylie Gusset is incredible… I can suggest some knitting links but I am not sure how easy it is to learn how to knit from diagrams. There’s some stuff on at also check out the knitting bloggers web ring at . If I find anything else useful I will let you know.

  6. says:

    Hurray! Thank you!

  7. Sabrina — I found another on not martha ( ). For a large list of knitting sites have a look at the side bar at

  8. says:

    Wow, I can’t thank you enough! This is all so timely; I had no idea that you knit, and I’ve been really keen on learning for the past couple of months. I recently flew to Seattle and was lucky enough to sit next to a kindly wonderful elderly woman on the plane and after chatting with her a while, I mentioned how I’d love to learn to knit, and she told me that gee, how funny, she just happened to have *tons* of knitting supplies that she was wondering what to do with, and did I want them?? Swoon!! I ‘m going to pick it up in a few weeks (she lives not too far from me, in D.C.) Lots of lucky breaks for me lately!

  9. says:

    I am a Loobylu reader who lives in North Carolina, and I feel I must speak up in defense of my state. We are not all as stupid as those people at UNC-Greensboro! Ms. Cake Lover didn’t understand why some of the words were red?! How can a person who doesn’t even know what a link is critique a website? I just want you to know that we are not all a bunch of stupid hillbillies. Some of us read websites without ads, and we like it. We even understand how to click on links. Oh, forget it. This is humiliating. I’m moving to Australia.

  10. Hmmm, my sister is pregnant with her first baby. I’ll have to give her the address for your site.

  11. The words “” and “sucks” do not — repeat NOT — belong in the same sentence, paragraph, or even page. I *love* your site.

  12. Claire, I have been frequenting your site for quite some time now, but I just had to comment about those inane UNC student posts. I am just amazed that these are university students–aside from the commenters that just don’t get it, so many of the entries are rife with spelling and grammatical errors. Since the posts were part of a class, maybe a spell check would have been in order? *sigh* At least you have a sense of humor about the whole thing.
    Best wishes on your new little bean! Get ready for an amazing journey!

  13. Well, well… it appears that if you ever set foot in North Carolina you shall be immediately recognised as that CUTE blogger with the CUTE website from CUTE Australia…all bodes well for a CUTE bean hey?
    P.S. yeah – when are you going to get some ads on here…

  14. says:

    I have a toyota corolla, and its beautiful, shiny and smooooth riding! I’m sure the lil bean will love getting chauffered around in it. What color did you get?

  15. says:

    “I kind of feel sorry for people who frequent this site… do they have nothing better to do with their lives than read about someone else’s from day to day?” (J. Cutchin, page 2)
    Pffft and other hexes involving ginormous zits growing with alarming speed on the author’s facial features.


  16. says:

    “People now-a-days do not have the time to figure out what things are.”
    It’s hard to be offended by someone who a) self-professedly doesn’t have time to think and b) uses the term now-a-days.

  17. says:

    I think what amused me the most about those “critiques” (when I wasn’t distraught and humiliated over the state of American higher education, that is) was the “Proof reading helps!” comment.

    Yes. Yes, it does.

    *mmwah*! (waves to baby-X, its mum & da)

  18. I just read that discussion and I can’t believe how dumb some people can be. I think Loobylu is absolutely perfect the way it is! I don’t see how you’d actually need the word “Journal” written on the page in order to determine that this is, in fact, a journal. I mean if you just notice the date, the little subject and the fact that the text uses the pronoun “I” and goes on to tell what the person did that day.. wouldn’t you know right away it’s some sort of a journal?!? *hugs* Don’t worry about what those silly people think. *We* love you Claire and *we* think you’re the best!! 🙂

  19. says:

    Those posts remind me of the kind of comments we used to make in English comprehension at school… when I was about 12.
    Really enjoy the site. I wonder how many other ‘professional’ web bods look at your site and wish they could do one half as pretty??

    Good luck with the contrahicktions.

  20. says:

    Hi Claire!
    Greetings from Utah.

    Haven’t posted in a while… so I wanted to stop in and say hello

    Shame about that class at UNC… seems they’re completely missing the point: namely, good design is audience specific and this site knows it’s audience perfectly.

    Sure, there are things that throw me for a loop every once in a while — but imperfection has its graces.

    Friendly suggestion? It’s low-end stuff, really, and hardly an obstacle… but each time I read your comment section I have to re-establish which order the comments are listed (newest to oldest, or vice versa). Also, I often confuse the little signature for the comment header… so here’s my suggestion: break up the sig… something like this:

    Bold Time Stamp:


    Space Em Dash (—) Space Hot-linked Name

    Anyway, just a suggestion.

    What’s worse is that the site where they’re posting seems poorly designed from an outsider’s vantage — where’s the thread structure? where’s the discussion begin? — so they’ve little ground to stand on.

    Anyway, looks like we’re going to be hearing about Baby Lu here, soon… so let me wish you and the mister (not to mention Baby Lu) the very best experience possible; I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    – sG

  21. ohmigawd Claire!
    First things first …when I saw the wee bean swinging up there like a jr. Tarzan or Jane, I thought oh my! She’s had the baby! But alas, no. But soon though? Really soon!

    And second things second…”I get a real questioning feeling on my face” and elsewhere when I contemplate the “football heads” commenting on the design and purpose of your journal. The “questioning feeling” was immediately replaced by one of revulsion and then amusement. I can’t BELIEVE these people! Are they for real? Or some “cute fiction”?! I laughed till I nearly peed my pants.

    I think you can safely ignore everything they said. Except the good stuff, of course.

    Heaven help us. These can’t be the brilliant designers of the future, can they? Well, according to a Newsweek article I read recently, they (that ever-so-elusive collective of cool) predict that on-line journals and blogs will soon be as pervasive and commonplace as e-mail.

    I’m all for drafting up comprehensive legislation which will ban any of those unimaginative critics from the University of Carolina from being allowed to participate in this brave new world. Who’s with me?!

  22. O, and while I realize you have other things of greater importance to do, living giving birth and all that, do you think you can post the recipe for Pea’s onion pie?! It sounds utterly yum. As does Kylie’s gingerbread cake. hint hint. Thanks!

  23. melanie, you’re in luck…i’ve posted the onion pie and and gingerbread recipe on gusset…happy baking!

  24. About the UNC student comments: First, my review of their group blog comments reminds me of something I have long suspected: PEOPLE DON’T READ. Secondly, these kids are not even fully formed people yet. How could they possibly realate to or understand a fully formed pregnant women?!? How sad, and yet pointedly young, that instead of looking at design and asking “Why is this cool, fresh, fun, uplifting?” they had to ask “Why does this suck?” But for a moment let’s all think back to our own university experience. Didn’t we think we knew it all? Wasn’t it easy to be quick and clever and wrong.

  25. I love my Corolla! Toyotas are good cars, they never die, even if you do get sick of looking at them… my boyfriend drives a 17 year old 4Runner that acts brand new!

  26. Dear Claire and Baby Lu-BigP!!
    Oh my gosh, thanks so much for posting that UNC link in your sidebar. I read the comments, and proceeded to tear into their site while discussing the topic with my hubby. :^)
    Seeing their “critiquies” (and I use the term LOOSELY) not only of your site but also for other sites made me so very much more confident in my web experience and UI instincts. Thank goodness, as I’ll be speaking to someone at a college about Grad School for UI and IA tomorrow. Now I at least feel like I know *something*.

    Ignore those Freshmen. They have to post to get a grade. Not one of them has probably designed their own web journal site, worked for an internet agency, or hell, even worked with real clients. Here’s hoping that they are just starting down the road to critical thinking.

    Best of luck with the baby, whenever s/he arrives. May you have a speedy birth and a speedy recovery!!!


  27. Whoops, of course, we all could use a spellchecker. *sigh*
    Critique, not the cute sounding critiquie. :^)

  28. This post made headline

  29. Actually, i was going to suggest you put some big arrows with “CLICK HERE” next to all your links. Maybe a long explanatory paragraph for each one would also be helpful…

  30. says:

    hi claireim living in melbourne and happily stumbled upon your site .
    i really enjoy it as i always loved reading other peoples diaries..

  31. says:

    Hello from the Philippines! I have long wanted to thank you for the tremendous enjoyment I derive from visiting your website but was too shy to post anything on the web until now.
    I just could not stand by and have these self-proclaimed “snobs” say the most inane comments about loobylu.

    They think themselves, products of higher education? I shiver.

    Will be praying for your safe and healthy delivery. And remember, breast is best!

  32. says:

    sylvia could not have said it any better. i think we all shiver at the comments made on the UNC website.! Your site is gorgeous, glorious and wonderful in it’s beautiful naivity and simplicity. It’s a joy to explore the moment you update with your latest weekly news.
    Not to mention checking every short while to see if we now have mini loobylu to read about.

    Sending lots of good and nice thoughts your way. Good wishes to you both/three.

  33. I think you’ve got to ignore the negative and concentrate on the positive. I am sure you have won enough awards by now to know that your site is one of the best blogs out there.
    (Personal plug: I won my first award this week: Best Personal Site for the Virtual Web Awards of Brighton and Hove)

    PS. Your foetus sure has a good head of hair.

  34. Claire sweetie,
    the beauty of your life and yourself has captured our hearts. I often come back to even though I know there are no new updates as have all of us I’m sure. It’s refreshing.

    Thanks again Claire. If these kids don’t get it, they don’t know what they’re missing.

  35. says:

    Hi Claire!!
    I am relatively new to and I have to say… I think I have an insta-crush on you (well, an internet crush, you know…)!!

    I’m a radio DJ in Washington DC and also a fellow web designer (and a knitter!).

    It amazes me how dim those students are at UNC!!! Are they being SERIOUS?!!? I think your site is ADORABLE and very well designed!!!

    Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and wish you well with Baby-Lu and Big-P.

    thanks girlie!

  36. says:

    by the way, I don’t know if you celebrate these things, but Happy Anniversary!!!

  37. says:

    In fairness to the students, they were probably judging the site against a list of guidelines from some usability guru (Jakob anyone?), guidelines that apply more to ecommerce sites.
    They will learn, in time.

  38. Hi Claire, I think the pain in your back may also have been the baby kicking your kidney. That can be quite painful! Did your belly go all tight when you had the pain? Then it may well have been the Braxton Hickses, although I nevr found them that painful. Did make me feel a bit sick, though, sometimes. Oh, never mind. Hang in there for those last very heavy & fatiguing bits!